Case Studies

EU Green Week 2015

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scotland Europa, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

EU Green Week is the largest annual conference on EU environment policy. Organised by the European Commission, Green Week is the EU’s flagship conference on environment policy, bringing together participants from government, industry, NGOs, private land managers, academia and the media to facilitate an exchange of ideas and best practices.

The 15th edition of Green Week took place in Brussels on 3-5 June 2015. The theme of the year was nature and biodiversity, with the tagline “Nature – our health, our wealth”. The week included over 30 different workshops focusing on nature protection from a number of angles, including nature and health, green infrastructure, nature and land use, nature in cities, agriculture, natural capital, the marine environment etc.

The key backdrop for the conference was the ongoing ‘regulatory fitness check’ of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, which was the topic of certain workshops and was repeatedly referred to in discussions throughout this well-attended conference (3000+ visitors from across Europe).

Scotland had a very large contingent over in Brussels for the event, with five members present (SNH, SEPA, SL&E, SWT and RSPB) and two Government ministers speaking.

 

Strategy

As a testimony to Scotland Europa’s large and active environmental membership contingent, the collective Scottish presence at Green Week was the most considerable and noticeable for a number of years.

Team Scotland’s engagement, as coordinated by Scotland Europa and the Scottish Government EU Office, allowed for both Dr Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, and Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, to have platforms to speak in the main conference programme.

Liaising with the organisers in DG Environment, Scotland also facilitated engagement opportunities for a number of our member organisations:

  • Supporting Scottish Land & Estates, together with the European Landowners’ Organisation and the RISE Foundation, in applying for, and getting, a stand in the exhibition centre, using it in particular to profile the Wildlife Estates Scotland label.
  • Supporting Scottish Natural Heritage in being invited to the podium at a session on the links between nature and health to promote good Scottish practice.
  • Facilitating contacts for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, who were invited to moderate a Business Round Table session.

 

Lessons Learned

Working closely with the Scottish Government EU Office, we, as Team Scotland, were able to maximise synergies between the Ministerial presence and the Scotland Europa environment-focused membership contingent. This strong representation across the wider Scottish community demonstrated our level of commitment to the need to value our natural resources as part of our economic and social wealth and the importance of exchange of best practices across the EU.

 

I was invited to give a contribution from the stage to the Nature & Health session. I was able to highlight the prominence of this agenda in our work and new Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Route Map. I gave an overview of current challenges and our work with NHS on improving green space and green exercise. It seemed to go down well and a couple of the speakers referred to our work in promoting a Natural Health Service in the follow discussions. I received good feedback and follow up interest from a number of participants including the Director for Natural Capital in DG Environment. - Testimonial from Scottish Natural Heritage
KEY DATES
  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 03 June 2015
  • Project completed
  • 05 June 2015

Case Study Website

http://www.greenweek2015.eu